It was raining when we pulled up in front of a low, nondescript factory in Tver, two hours’ drive northeast of Moscow. The Tveris glass plant, built as a state enterprise, was celebrating its first anniversary of employee ownership.
Tveris Glass is one of some hundred firms that, by the time of our visit in July 1991, had opted out of the command economy through direct worker ownership. What “direct worker ownership” means varies from enterprise to enterprise, but the concept of worker ownership is an attractive alternative both to state ownership and to such other forms of privatization as sale to managers and government officials (the “propertization of the nomenklatura”); sale at auction to the Rus...
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